Hurricane Michael Could Be 'One of the Worst' to Strike Florida

James Marshall
October 11, 2018

Storms can force the tide in or out, which means possible flooding, but a recent dry spell locally means the ground can withstand more rainfall, Orrock said.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Hurricane Michael was centered about 420 miles (675 kilometers) south of Panama City at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of Floridians were warned on Tuesday to get out of harm's way as Hurricane Michael churned over the Gulf of Mexico toward the northwestern part of the state, bringing fierce winds, torrential rain and life-threatening coastal floods.

The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center forecasts that Michael intensifies overnight to a category 4 storm.

It is expected to be a violent Category 3 hurricane - with the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days - by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday, before moving across the southeastern United States through Thursday.

"Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials".

The last major hurricane to hit the Panhandle was Hurricane Dennis in 2005, according to hurricane center data.

President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the country was very well prepared for the hurricane, adding it was much bigger than had been expected.

"Can you believe it?"

"But we've handled them well".

As the storm approached, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared an emergency in 26 counties Sunday night including Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

"We've practiced this many times".

In a 5 p.m. update on October 9, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Michael has strengthened to a "major hurricane" and has life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall.

Tallahassee's Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is campaigning to succeed Scott as governor in next month's elections, suspended his campaign and returned to the state capital to oversee storm preparations.

In terms of wind intensity, that would make it stronger than Hurricane Florence, which had winds of 90 miles per hour when it blew ashore in North Carolina last month.

Predictions of rain here vary from one to five inches.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make cyclones more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible.

Much of the state saw the "real thing" previous year, when Hurricane Irma force more than 6 million evacuations, flooded cities and left millions without power. "We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life", Scott added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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